Project #SewMyStyle - The Hampshire Trouser
It's already October and this month for #SewMyStyle we are making pants! The pattern is the Hampshire Trouser by Cali Faye Collection. I'm delighted that this month's post is coming from the fabulously talented Kellene Hunter.
I would definitely recommend making a muslin for this pattern or at least basting the pants together before sewing if you are confident you have chosen the correct size. The seam allowance is only 3/8" so there is not a lot of wiggle room to make adjustments after cutting your fabric. You may consider adding additional seam allowance to your pattern pieces so you have more room for adjustments. My measurements put me into a size Small but after looking at the finished garment measurement chart and because my fabric has some stretch I decided to try the XS. I made a muslin and was pretty happy with the fit. I fixed a little gaping in the back of the waistband, added 2" to the length (I'm 5' 11" for reference), and slimmed the legs down. I did have a few fit issues show up in my final pair of pants that I did not have when I made my muslin. I should have basted the pants together to check the fit again but I didn't think about it until I already had my welt pockets done and zipper inserted. I was not going to rip out my zipper to make changes to the front of the pants!
This pattern includes a helpful alteration guide that explains why you may need a certain adjustment and then shows you how to make it. Other fitting resources include: a post on the Closet Case Patterns blog- 14 Common Fitting Adjustments for Jeans and Pants and the book Pants for Real People.
A medium weight woven fabric is recommended for this pattern. I used Kaufman Jetsetter Stretch Twill from fabric.com. It is very nice to work with but is a bit on the stiff side. A stretch fabric can be used for this pattern but is not required. If I didn't already have this fabric I would have gotten some Tencel Twill II from Blackbird Fabrics. It is a wonderful fabric that works great for trousers and is nice to work with and wear. Corduroy is another great option or linen if you are headed into warmer weather. A lighter weight woven fabric can be used for the waistband linings and pocket bags. This is a great way to use up some scraps and add a fun print to the inside of your pants.
You don't need much aside from your sewing machine to make these pants. A serger/overlocker is great for finishing your seams but you can also use a zigzag stitch on your regular machine. If you are adding a button to your waistband (you can also use a hook and eye) a buttonhole foot is a good thing to have. A zipper foot is needed when you are inserting your zipper.
The difficulty rating for this pattern is advanced which I think is accurate because of the welt pockets and zipper. Both can be very intimidating, just take it one step at a time, it is very satisfying when they are finished! On the Cali Faye Collection website there is a visual tutorial to help with the welt pockets and the zipper. I think it is very helpful to see a picture of each step and would definitely recommend using these tutorials. If this is your first time making welt pockets it would be a good idea to practice on some fabric scraps first. I followed the instructions pretty closely to make my pants. One thing I did differently was top stitch my fly from the right side of the pants instead of doing it on the wrong side. Anytime I have stitching that will show on the outside of a garment, I stitch from the right side if at all possible. I think the stitches on the top always look better than the stitches on the bottom. I drew a line on the right side of the fabric to help get a nice line of topstitching. You can feel the fly facing underneath and draw just inside the edge or create a topstitching template by using the fly facing pattern piece and taking approx. 1/8" off of the curved edge and then trace around it on your pants. I also prefer to hand sew my waistband on the inside instead of stitching in the ditch. One other thing to think about: when sewing the two back legs together the directions do not specify which way to press your seam allowance before topstitching it in place. If you want it to match up with the topstitching on the front pieces, press it to the left side (this is the left side when you are wearing the pants).
I look forward to seeing everyone's trousers at the end of the month!